Chiefs Trade Rumors!
Are the OBJ rumors true? Are the Chiefs in the market for pass rush help?
We are six weeks into the 2022 NFL season and teams are starting to figure out what roster positions should be addressed before the November 1 trade deadline. Many teams are looking to add help right before the playoffs arrive. Most front offices find themselves adjusting the cap space, needed to make big moves. The Chiefs have cleared $3.5 million in cap space after restructuring tight end Travis Kelce's contract. Kelce is still signed through the 2025 NFL season and is off to another hot start. The All-Pro TE currently leads the Chiefs with 455 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns on 41 catches (52 targets).
It's unclear at this point if this move will result in Chiefs GM Brett Veach making a specific move via the trade market or in free agency. The Chiefs do have their bye week coming up after Sunday's game. This gives Veach and the front office a lot of time to decide if there is a realistic way to improve the roster midseason.
The Chiefs' status as one of the clear Super Bowl contenders means they'll always be a hot destination for star free agents. One marquee name still on the market and has been recently linked to the Chiefs is Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ eyes a potential November return from a torn ACL he suffered in Super Bowl 56 and could come in just in time to help the right team out. Rumor has it, OBJ will likely wait until after the trade deadline to sign anywhere.
Last week, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and Matt Bowden reported that the Chiefs were looking to add a wideout and "would welcome one more outside threat." However, the team's lack of cap space means "money is an issue" that could prevent the Chiefs from nabbing OBJ, according to the insiders. That has all changed since Kelce’s restructure.
KPRC 2 Houston's Aaron Wilson reports that the Chiefs are viewed as a "strong contender" for Beckham's services. Wilson also said that Beckham was making "steady progress" in his recovery from a torn ACL.
Wilson's report comes in wake of a few notable connections between Beckham and the Chiefs. First, Travis Kelce said on his podcast that he would like the team to sign the free-agent receiver.
"I want them to come true," Kelce said of the Beckham rumors on his "New Heights" podcast. "I have not heard anything in the locker room or anything around the facility . . . but I think something’s in the air."
If the deal happens, the potential for both sides is obvious. OBJ could immediately step into a leading role on an obvious championship contender like he did with the Rams last season and prove he's worth a multi-year deal after his significant injury. Kelce and OBJ would form a dynamic 1-2 punch and make things even easier for the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and it would open things up for Skyy Moore who is the team’s best route runner.
Now you noticed that I didn’t mention Mecole Hardman’s name in this. That is because if OBJ signs with the Chiefs, Mecole Hardman could possibly become the odd man out. He is currently on his last year of his rookie contract and in season four, him and Mahomes aren’t seeing eye to eye. Despite Hardman’s latest showing with two straight weeks of 70+ yards receiving games, he’s still not making the plays that the Chiefs need in order to have success.
So what could happen?
Mecole Hardman could very well become part of a trade package in the future. Yes, we can ask for a running back, right tackle (Wylie got embarrassed by Von Miller), and the obvious pass rusher. But after Sunday’s game and Mr. Miller’s outstanding performance, I believe Veach is putting the hammer down. I think he is probably going to go all in for a pass rusher rather than a designated edge/pass rusher or interior guy.
Here are the players and teams that the Chiefs could trade with and the rumors surrounding them.
Daron Payne, DT, Commanders:
This is a player that I have been writing about since June 29, 2022. The Chiefs are doing great as the 4th best run defense in football despite the last two weeks. The Chiefs could get a boost for the defensive line by adding another monster in the interior that affects the pace of the game. Payne is among the most dominant interior linemen in the NFL. Someone who can get to the quarterback despite drawing a double team on over half of his reps.
If he were in the middle next to Chris Jones, teams would have to decide between who to double team, and who to leave in a 1 on 1 blocking scenario. It's a pick-your-poison dilemma that will give Offensive Coordinators headaches all season long. Riverboat Ron wouldn’t mind helping his old coach, Andy Reid out either.
Robert Quinn, DE, Bears:
This is an obvious one. Robert Quinn was drafted by Steve Spagnuolo in 2011 when he was the Head Coach of the then St. Louis Rams. This adds a connection between the player and coach. Quinn has been a trade chip ever since Khalil Mack was moved this offseason to the Chargers. As a short-term rental to improve a hit-or-miss defensive end unit, you could do a lot worse. Especially since Quinn, 32, could still be cut to save a big chunk of money in 2023 if Veach were to go that route. But the money would be the thing that would turn Veach away from this deal.
Brian Burns, DE, Panthers:
The Carolina Panthers are ready to field some trade calls for their best players after a horrific start to the 2022-2023 season. Their designated #1 pass rusher Brian Burns is one of the Panthers on the trade block who will likely garner some attention. This Pro Bowl defensive end could be a huge boost to any defense in lack of a great pass rusher. The Chiefs defensive end unit has not found the same success. They are a big part of why our overall defense is allowing 24.8 points per game. This unit could need a massive addition to make them elite.
Burns in KC is a perfect landing spot. The Chiefs pass rush has been effective this season in the moments that count, but there is room for improvement. A young edge duo of Burns and rookie George Karlaftis could become elite. The Chiefs have the draft capital to make it happen. The Chiefs have 13 selections in next May’s draft. However, we here at Chiefs Focus along with the rest of the league will monitor this situation with Burns.
Cam Jordan, DE, Saints:
Jordan has recently been rumored as a possible trade target. However, as well all know, rumors don't always come true. Yesterday, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin listed his 13 trade deadline candidates. He had the Chiefs trading for Saints' designated pass rusher, Cam Jordan. “An all-time Saint, Jordan may desire to retire in New Orleans, but he'd probably rather go out chasing a ring, and his team is in dire need of restocking for a rebuild. The Rams paid the same price for Von Miller in 2021.
The Chiefs could use a steadier edge presence alongside Chris Jones as they seek a Lombardi, and the natural follow-up would be,” says Benjamin. This is a move I can see Veach making but once again it comes down to the money. Jordan is a guy you can plug into your scheme right away. Jordan’s got just one more year left on his restructured deal. The Saints also have 26-year-old Marcus Davenport, to pay long-term. The biggest holdup of a potential deal here will be head coach Dennis Allen surrendering such a proven asset midseason, no matter how badly New Orleans' record is at this point.
The Chiefs sign OBJ and then trade Mecole Hardman with the 2023 3rd-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for defensive end Cam Jordan. It could happen, but maybe it won’t. A guy can dream or predict. The NFL is a business and everyone has their price. Anything can happen from now until November, so keep an eye out. Whether they add someone or not, the Chiefs will be just fine as they look forward to yet another play